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Old 01-15-2008, 08:57 AM   #1
Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 84

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Updates got munged, how to get them back

Hi, all,

I'm posting as a nube 'cause I don't know a thing about the Linux update mechanism. My apologies for the length.

Environment: Fedora core 7 installed using i386 modules, but on an Athlon 64 processor. Works fine. Gnome desktop.

I had automatic updates on my desktop (running as user "phil" but with root priv) and was receiving periodic software patches; it was part of my original install, and I just accepted the defaults. Little box-looking icon in the upper right corner of the screen. I believe this was a graphical front-end to something called "pup". Worked like a champ, right?

About 2 weeks ago, I logged in as "root" instead of "phil" for some other purpose, and was told by the package updater (same little box-looking icon in the upper right corner) that I had 745 updates available. "Huh?" I said. "Hmmm... must have something to do with root's desktop environment."

Well, I figured I didn't need the desktop for a few hours, so I let the thing do it's monster patch download and install them. One item not found, I got it off the list and ran again, everything's cool.

Except, when I logged back in as "phil," the package updater in the corner told me "Can't update; no network connection" and sat there with a little red "x" over it. My network connection was fine; I rebooted, got the same error, said "Hmmm... I'll try logging in as 'root' again". I just got around to that yesterday, and no dice... the package updater said "no network connection" and x'ed itself.

So, then I tried doing "yum update" from the root command prompt. It looked like it was running, but then it got this error message, and crapped out. The error message went like this:
[root@localhost backup]# yum update [Errno 14] HTTP Error 404: Not Found
Trying other mirror.
Error: Cannot retrieve repository metadata (repomd.xml) for repository: gst-0.10-apps. Please verify its path and try again
So, my questions:

1) What happened to my package updater?

2) Where does yum store his repository setup, so I can go in and delete these errant repositories?

3) What can I read that will explain what the hell I'm doing?

Thanks for your patience.

Phil W.
Old 01-15-2008, 10:08 AM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2007
Location: NJ
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 7

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Hey Phil,

I'm relatively new to Fedora and Yum as well, but I have been able to learn a little here and there in the past few months. As I understand it the configuration information for yum is stored two places. One place is /etc/yum.conf and the other place is a directory called /etc/yum.repos.d/.
In that directory you'll find a file for each repository you have set up. That's some basic information. If you want a more detailed background I would man yum.conf.

To help you with your problem.... I've learned from experience the livna is considered a pretty standard repository to add to your yum repository list. As luck would have it they have a nice rpm package that adds their repository to your yum configuration. Along with that it also adds the basic repositories for your Fedora version (at least it does for Fedora Core 5 & 6). So if I were you I would just go to and look for the Fedora 7 repository on the main page there. Download it, and run an rpm -ivh on it as root.

Since I've never done this for 7 I would appreciate it if someone backed me up but I think it will work.

Oh and by the way, Yum was created by the good people at Duke University. The website is

I imagine that should have more information than I could ever give you (and probably more than you will ever need) on the subject.

Last edited by jakefolger; 01-15-2008 at 10:24 AM. Reason: I forgot the Duke Yum website.
Old 01-15-2008, 01:17 PM   #3
Registered: Sep 2007
Posts: 84

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Knowing where the repositories get defined helped; 3 repositories beginning with "gstream" were causing things to hang up, so I got rid of them. I think I put them there in an attempt to install a movie viewer of some sort. Livna is already in my repository list.

The graphical tool is something called "pirut," it runs using python, and it's broken. Feh. Well, so long as yum is working, I guess I don't need it.

Do you mind explaining a bit what these repositories are, and how I should decide which need to be included? Are these just public collection points for various patches, and I only need a few of the larger ones? or does each software vendor provide its own repository for updates, and I have to be aware of where they are?

Thanks again.
Old 01-15-2008, 01:56 PM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Nov 2007
Location: NJ
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 7

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Like I said I'm no expert on this stuff, but the repositories are basically just big warehouses for rpms. If you want to see what one looks like go to

If you follow that link you'll just see a huge list of rpms. I believe this repository is known as the fedora core repository (it should be in your yum.repos.d directory) but I could be wrong.

Anyway, you pretty have it right when you say these are "just public collection points for various patches". It's slightly more than that though because you can find software in them that you don't have on your system currently. For example say you have a bare bones install of Fedora without openoffice or anything, and you need write out a document for school or work. all you'd have to do is do a "yum list | grep openoffice". That will get you the package name for the rpm and then you could install it by doing a "yum install". Because you can get things that you don't already have on your system, I consider it slightly more robust than something you use just for applying patches although you can use it like that.

As for how many repos you should have... I feel that is up to you. Some people just like to have the basics while others like to have as many as they can find. I don't think there is a right or wrong when it comes to that.

Finally if you want a gui for yum I would suggest gnome-yum. From what I understand it is pretty standard.

Oh yeah, and if you're looking for a movie player try mplayer. I have heard it is good, never tried it myself though.

Last edited by jakefolger; 01-15-2008 at 01:59 PM.


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